Creative Storage Solutions for Organizing Your Office

 Vintage Indie would like to send a warm welcome to Debi Ward Kennedy of homewardFOUNDdecor She is here sharing with us her fabulous ideas for designing an office or studio with smart storage solutions. I just love all of the vintage details in her personal studio. Gorgeous!

Please click any photos in the feature to see them larger, you won't want to miss any of the details!

  Vintage Style Office Organization




Welcome to my Studio!


We’ve just moved into a new house, and I enjoyed the opportunity to design a whole new studio for myself. I undertook this project exactly as I would one for a retail client: Start with what you have and look at it in a fresh way.


My designs of retail spaces and vintage-style products entail having many resource materials at hand in my studio. There are books, magazines, tear sheets, color fans, and paint charts. There are files of completed projects and ‘in process’ designs. There are design boards from huge to small. Keeping it all under control is a daily challenge! I use a lot of creative storage techniques because although I can handle a certain amount of ‘creative clutter’, I do NOT like it when I can’t find what I am looking for.


Before and After Office Design


First, I painted the room soft tan and the trim all gloss white. Instantly, it was welcoming instead of cold, clinical white. (But the soft neutral color won’t interfere with my design work). I also took down the ceiling fan, and replaced it with a three-light ceiling fixture. Combined with the existing can lights, this room is very well lit for working at two in the morning… when the Muse inevitably decides to appear. ;0)


Spring Office Organizing Vintage Indie



Using the furnishings & fixtures I already had, I figured out how to fit them into this new space efficiently - using the location of lighting to place my work surfaces, for example, and knowing how I move around when I am working on projects. I have a cube fixture from IKEA, a piece of antique furniture, a new-ish bar-height work table, and shelving and a side table that my husband built. They all went in first.


Vintage Style Storage Solutions



I needed containers on those fixtures that would help corral the massive amounts of stuff that would be coming out of moving boxes. I use wire locker baskets, wire plate racks, metal boxes & lunch pails, wire sliding drawers, vintage metal bread pans, large clear vases and magazine sleeves. Since all of these elements are seen, I wanted them to have vintage style and visual appeal.


Some of the ‘hidden storage’ in the studio is in the low shelf units… I actually laid them on their sides!
They are very deep, intended to be closet storage units. By laying them down, I gain double-depth space PLUS the top work surface.


Behind those rows of white cardboard magazine sleeves (IKEA), there are stacks of books, more sleeves full of tear sheets and catalogs, DVD’s, portfolios, magazines that have published my writings, and client project archive files. These are things I don’t need to access often, so having them located behind the magazines works for me. Small labels on the shelf front tell me what’s behind. The magazines in front are arranged by name, month & season. On top, two units of small drawers (IKEA) hold biz cards and other regular office supplies.


Office Styling


The tall cube bookcase unit (IKEA) holds all of the books that I access regularly, sorted by subjects.

Behind what you see is another six inches of space, holding books I don’t use very often. I kept the books on the lower two shelves to allow for the more interesting things to be up high, in the line of sight. That’s where the baskets & boxes come in! Various materials are stored AND displayed in all of them. Even the white shopping bags on top of this unit hold materials – but what you see is crisp, clean, and simple.


Tucked back in the corner is a plastic drawer unit – it holds all of my vintage papers and office supplies. You can’t see it, it fills in a dead corner, and each drawer can be pulled out when I need something. The wire unit in front of it holds large-sized vintage papers and paper cutters - I place the tools near the supplies I need with them. A clear vase, wire basket, and boxes on top hold rolls of paper and small vintage paper elements.


File Cabinet Makeover


Every business has a file cabinet. I could have painted mine white, but decided instead to cover it with vintage dictionary pages. Lots of glue & paper were involved, but not a lot of time & effort. It sits right out in the open and looks fabulous! Inside the lower drawer, I keep my printer/scanner, already plugged in (cord goes out the back). I simply hook up my laptop cord to use them.


DWK Image 5b


My worktable is bar-height, because I work a lot while standing. (Right now, as I am writing this, I am sitting on one of the two barstools shown.) It’s very spacious and I use it for everything. Under it, I can store empty wire baskets that will fill up with product supplies or small items to be priced. The paper recycling container is an old wood pull-out laundry bin. A rolling wire cart holds large pieces of fabric, and can be relocated easily. Or emptied if I am hitting a flea market! ;0)


Using Vintage Furniture in an office




Because they are easily changeable and helpful in my processes, ‘Inspiration Boards’ are included, as well. One is a fabulous vintage door, where a bulletin board replaces the former window. Behind this door, I store oversized style boards for projects. A chalkboard door will be placed on the opposite side of the sideboard cabinet…. as soon as I FIND it. It’s still in a storage unit!


Smaller pin boards across the room are simple squares of rigid foam insulation panels, cut down and covered with fabrics. I used muslin, linen, and burlap for mine. Each project I work on gets one of these pin boards while in-process, until I am ready to glue it all to a style board permanently.


Pin Boards Office Styling


Having beautiful inspiration around me is essential in my design process, so I included pieces that simply make me smile. Mannequins dressed in vintage finery and jewelry, products I’ve designed, and gifts from friends all have a special place here, as do a floral chandelier and two favorite hemp chairs for clients.

(Rachel Ashwell called them ‘lovely’ when she saw them in my booth at an antique show, btw!)


When I finally began unloading moving boxes, it was easy to find the right space for everything I needed. By starting with the storage needs, I was able to make pretty quick work of this - from beginning to (almost) end, this room came together in just one week.


What did I buy for this room?

Paint. From the Habitat ReStore and Craigslist. (we mix our own custom colors, using recycled paint)

The three-spot ceiling light. Thrift store, five bucks. Can of white spray paint, four bucks.


As I tell my clients, you really don’t have to spend money to redecorate - reimagine and redesign instead!


Think about the function that your space & furnishings need to have for your lifestyle or store. Go into the space/room, and walk around as if you were working… decide what storage & surfaces you need, and where. Then look at all of the furniture, fixtures, and containers you have and assign each a place and a use. Remember that the ‘work triangle’ concept of kitchen design applies to stores, offices & studios, too. Then add the details that will express your own style. You don’t need a new space to do this… start with the store or office you have now. Apply creative thinking skills, some muscle to move everything around, and get going. Soon, you’ll have a store or office that energizes you and everyone who comes in!



Debi Ward Kennedy is a professional retail visual designer, located North of Seattle, Washington.

To engage her as a retail design consultant, writer, or speaker please visit .

To see her vintage-inspired product designs & antique show schedule, please visit homewardFOUNDdecor 

Mexican Country Style, The New Hacienda and Hacienda Style

MexicancountrystyleBooks abound for decorating country style, using vintage finds, making the old new again. There’s new country, French country, even Midwest Modern, coined in an Amy Butler book I’ll review soon. But for now, say “adios” to all those familiar trends and hola! to Mexican country/Hacienda style.

      Karen Witynski and Joe P. Carr, award-winning authors, designers and photographers and collaborators with Pittsburgh Paints® on The Hacienda Style Color Palette have published a thorough series of hard- and soft-cover tomes to help you get the Mexican abode – or Hacienda- of your dreams.

      Mexican Country Style, 1997, $24.95; The New Hacienda, 1999, $19.95 and Hacienda Style, 2007, $39.95, all published by Gibbs Smith, Utah, are but three of their eight volumes in the last decade depicting the deep southwestern and native style of Mexico.

     Hacienda_courtyards_2 If you live in the western half of the U.S., then Hacienda (a Mexican estate or plantation)style may not be such a new concept, as it is a familiar form of design in Texas, Arizona, California and the like. But, if you are in the Midwest, on the east coast or in the southeast, you may want to grab one or more of these books if you’d like to add some native New World style.

      Wytinski and Carr are owners of Joe P. Carr Design, a gallery in Austin, TX, where they spend their time when not in Mexico. Their quest for design treasures and their writings from the resultant travels have earned them La Pluma de Plata (The Silver Pen) from Mexico’s Ministry of Tourism, for The New Hacienda.

      The duo has been at the forefront of Mexican design for more than 25 years and have designed and renovated both homes and haciendas and commercial projects in the U.S. and Mexico. They have been featured in Architectural Digest, House Beautiful and on HGTV’s Takeover my Makeover.

      With all of these respected credentials and eight books under their belts, Wytinski and Carr don’t need a review from a Johnny-come-lately-to-the-style like me. I will say the books are a joy to look at whether you favor this style or not. The photography is beautiful, so that whether you are into design, travel, re-living your high school Spanish class or just appreciating the art of life, you can find something here to enjoy.

    Mailgooglecom_2   They are a satisfying size, at 130 to 200 pages each, and Hacienda Style easily makes for a coffee table selection. The only cuidado (caution) I would give is if you are looking to reform your NYC brownstone or your Indiana 3BR/2BT ranch into an adobe  abode, you won’t find a lot of practical photos- unless your ranch has 20- or 30-foot ceilings and your walk-up has an open-air kitchen.


But, as with so many design books and the resultant reviews, those who are quick to critique them as impractical must remember these books are for visual inspiration, suggestion and in this case, education and documentation of a style spanning four centuries: Mexican hacienda style.


- Guest Author, Gina Smith

{All contributed content Gina Smith © Lilly*s of London*ish}


A Christmas Star & A Christmas Book Recommendation

If you're looking for a few stars to add to your tree this year, check out these beautiful stained glass stars. 

An Ornament_DianasStainedGlass
Today's Ornament comes from DianasStainedGlass on Etsy, a 5 point beveled glass ornament. Wouldn't that look beautiful with the lights flickering and bouncing off the points. 


Also, a book recommendation for  friends. (affiliate link) Bright Christmas An Angel Remembers by author Andrew Clements. I read this last night all bundled up and cozy with my family, it brought tears and smiles to our faces.     

The Beautiful Nativity

Luke2  4-20 (KJV)

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

This is the reason for Christmas, there is no Christmas, without Christ. Help me celebrate Him this week, adorning our homes with creations celebrating Him. 



Wooden Nativity Christmas

Beautiful olive wood, hand painted nativity from Orit Dotan


Stained Glass Nativity

An heriloom quality handmade stained glass nativity set from wearetheedge

17 piece Nativity Peg Doll Set -- (2")

Hand  Painted Peg Nativity from issymissy


Christmas Home Tours Jody Anderson

Hi Friends!  Today I want to share a very special Christmas themed Home Tour. If you would like to be considered for a home, studio or business tour, please let me know by emailing

"Growing up I never wanted the latest and greatest for Christmas... I wanted something old for my room" jokes Jody Anderson. All gown up now with a place of her own, Jody's home glimmers and glows, a vision of festive holiday decor.

Jody Anderson Home Tour

Full of Christmas spirit, she gets her Kirkland, Washington home dressed up for the holidays right after Thanksgiving.

Vintage Home Tour Santa

Jody collects vintage Santas. This jolly trio greets you as you step into the living room.

Vintage Christmas Tree Style Jody Anderson

 It's always a "white" Christmas with this pretty tree, decorated in pinks and reds.

Jody Anderson Home Tour Christmas

This tree wears a skirt made of tulle.

Vintage Style Christmas Home Tour

Jody rescued this sweet watercolor painting from a dumpster.  

Swing Seat Vintage Style

In a former life, this magazine holder was the seat of a swing.

Vintage Style Christmas Home Tour  

The perfect centerpiece. Blue vintage Ball Jars encircle a small Christmas tree.

Vintage Dress Display Christmas Decor

 Vintage gowns and a dress from the 1980's make a striking display.

  Vintage Shelf Upcycled Christmas

This "shelf" is made out of a weathered piece of wood and sparkly heels from a pair of pumps. 

  Vintage Trunk Christmas Decorations Home Tour

 A painted trunk anchors this space, complete with a birdcage and a vintage costume fashioned from crepe paper.

Vintage Dress Jody Anderson

The dress is a stunner!

  Vintage Style Bedroom Home Tour

Don't you want to dive into this pile of comfy pillows?

Glittered birdcage

A very pretty glittered birdcage

Vintage Style Chandelier

A simply striking chandelier

  Vintage Lightning Home Tour

 This lamp is created from books and drawer pulls.

Vintage Gate Home Tour Jody Anderson

A piece of a metal fence becomes a perfect display piece.

 Thanks to Jody for letting us take a little tour of her lovely home.

Wishing all of you a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season!